Season 2024 – Week 5 Match Reports Weekend 25th & 26th May

‘Double’ Hat Trick & Coaching Success for Marple

All three of Marple’s Saturday teams win and a hattrick on Sunday for Super Sophie Sanders is  a great way to celebrate her birthday and the other 8 new coaches qualification!

First Team – Marple set ‘Phair’ after surviving Valentine Massacre!

Marple 139 all out (45.2 overs) 20 points beat Urmston 131 all out (38 overs) 5 points by 8 runs

Marple made it a maximum 100 points from five games so far this season, with a “backs to the wall” victory against Urmston at Bowden Lane last Saturday.

Visiting skipper Ryan O’Brien elected to field first on a bright and increasingly breezy late May afternoon. His opening attack of Sam Smith and Will Valentine looked useful, but the new ball found the middle of Jacob Noakes’s bat during the early overs. Marple’s powerful left hander looked in great touch, timing the ball with boundaries all around the wicket. One six was simply stroked over wide mid on and out of the ground. 44 runs were added in quick time for the first wicket between Noakes and the more subdued Matt Barrow. However, after Noakes (31) chased a wide one from Smith to be caught low down at backward point by Mitten, the balance of the game swung dramatically.

The lively Valentine picked up a couple of quick wickets, those of Barrow, 8, and Stretton, 3, bowled by a beauty. At 58 for 3, it looked like an uphill struggle, once more, for the Marple batting line up. The pitch was two paced, and was receptive to seam and also the nagging off spin of Aqeel Mustafa. O’Brien followed on from Smith, and proved very tricky to get away, pegging away with his medium pace just fractionally short of a driving length on off stump. Several Marple batters did graft away to reach double figures, but each time they tried to force the pace they met their end. Zac Phair looked in good touch for 15, before being brilliantly stumped by Grimbaldeston down the legside from the bowling of Mustafa. Fitzgerald battled for 10, and Makin for 17, but dominance eluded both players. After Hall (9) and Makin both fell to leave Marple on a perilous 107 for 7, Urmston must have thought it was their day.

An eighth wicket stand of 32 between Rob Kingham, 18, and Jack Grundy, 11, got Marple upto total that was possibly defendable. The last three wickets fell at 139, frustratingly for the batting side, but the runs were on the board. Most of the visiting bowlers did a fine job, Smith 3 for 28, Valentine 2 for 32, O’Brien 1 for 17, and Mustafa 2 for 25, being the pick.

After the tea interval, the easterly breeze freshened considerably. Although Rob Kingham started well for Marple, Jack Grundy was blown off course somewhat in his early overs. As in the Marple innings, the new ball found the middle of the bat, this time that of Will Valentine. The former Alderley Edge player looked the most assured batter of the game, and he timed the ball beautifully. Although Kingham removed O’Brien, smartly taken at second slip by Makin for 3, and Grimbaldston, comprehensively bowled first ball, Valentine looked in a hurry to get things wrapped up as soon as possible. In company with the experienced and obdurate left hander Lewis Jackson, he added 60 runs for the third wicket. At 88 for 2, it looked odds on for Urmston’s first win of the season. Possibly over-confidence got the better Valentine however, and he mistimed a full delivery from Zac Phair to be safely caught at cover by Fitzgerald. His fluent 60 from 77 balls, with ten fours, looked to have set his side on course for victory.

His dismissal did though, galvanise Marple. Joe Cash was in the middle of a typically accurate and probing spell, and Zac Phair became increasingly problematic for the batting line up. Tall, with a strong, high action, he hit a good length repeatedly, offering movement away from the right handers. Now, there were precious few loose deliveries for the batters to capitalise on. Cash had Smith, 1, lbw at 96 for 4, and the dangerous Kilcourse was bowled by Phair for just a single at 103 for 5. When the stubborn Jackson was adjudged lbw to Phair at 120 for 6, Marple had a chance of pulling off the victory. Makin’s left arm spin had been tried for a couple of overs, but at the fall of Jackson’s wicket, Hall threw the ball again to Grundy. Grundy’s Midas touch returned. Phair finished his spell with 4 for 34, having Zala lbw at 126 for 7. Kingham returned to partner Grundy, and they polished off the last three wickets for just five more runs, not a bad ball delivered to a frantic lower order. Stand in keeper Noakes did a fine job, and he was rewarded with his victim when Mitten edged Grundy to complete the victory.

It was a jubilant side that celebrated a fifth consecutive victory, this one pulled out of the fire. After the fall of Valentine, the home bowling was relentless, with scarcely a bad ball bowled as Urmston lost eight wickets for just 43 runs. The captaincy of Andrew Hall also played a significant part in this victory. He didn’t miss a trick, pressurising the batters, and managing to keep Munawar, 18 not out, away from the strike during the crucial final overs. Eight of the Urmston order contributed just 7 runs to the total. In addition to Phair, Kingham had 3 for 22, Grundy 2 for 36 and Cash 1 for 29.

Marple travel to mid Cheshire side Davenham next Saturday, June 1st, with a 12.00 start.

Second Team

Marple seconds gained their first victory of the season with a win against Didsbury 2AXI, the game played at Mere’s scenic venue. Although several Didsbury batters got starts, no player was able to dominate an accurate Marple attack, and they were bowled out for just 99 in 44 overs, Chris Kearton the top scorer with just 15. Tom Reeve led the way for Marple with a hostile 4 for 29, George Clarke, 2 for 30, and the very talented young leg spinner Charlie Hodgson, 2 for 16. Skipper James Hirst nagged away with 6 maidens in his 1 for 9.

This small total presented no problems to Marple. Despite losing Tom Lloyd for just 4, Jamie Massey, 29, and the in-form Mike Schofield, 55 added 81 for the second wicket. Although both players were dismissed just before the victory, a comfortable 7 wicket win was brought up in just the 19th over.

Third Team

The Third Team travelled to nearby Bredbury St Mark’s on Saturday to face their top of the league second team. Electing to field first, Neil Hurren, as is customary, picked up a couple of early wickets, but a stubborn 3rd wicket partnership saw the move on to 50 for 2. Once the ever youthful Andrew Hayes got into rhythm Marple were able to keep things in check, as he picked up 3 more wickets, he was well supported by Sam Ittig who put in his best bowling performance of the year so far and was unlucky to just pick up one wicket. At 28 overs the league leaders looked set to push on, but teenager George Bailey was miserly bowling 6 beautifully flighted overs for just 5 runs and captain Sanders picked up 3 for 5 as Bredbury were bowled out for 99. The bowlers were well supported by an excellent feilding display ably led by Paulo Roberts and Dav Tomlinson.

In reply Marple made steady progress toward the total. Opener Haroon Ahmed looked assured top scoring with 29 and he was ably supported by Tomlinson and Bailey (both 17) and it was left to the experienced Hurren (10no) to see the away side home and to a well fought 2 wicket victory, and complete a hatrick of Saturday victories for the club.

Third Team Cup 

The Third team’s first ever T20 Cup game ended in a win, in an entertaining game at Stockport Trinity. Electing to bat first Marple got off to a flyer with Tom Llyoyd (67) in full T20 mode smoking 6 sixes on his way to a consecutive half-century as he and the elegant Will Darby (18) made the most of the power play. Both were out in successie overs having put on a century at over 10 runs an over. The innings finished on 161 with George Bailey making an unbeaten 20 and extras contributing 28. 

Trinity’s reply started well and at 85 for 0 at the halfway stage were on course to chase down the total. However Captain Sanders took two wickets in his first over and alongside Bailey (2 for 18) put the pressure back on the home side, who eventually fell 24 runs short. Downs (53) and Higginbottom (48) were the opening pair who did the early damage, while Marple’s tight fielding was a key part in their victory.

Fourth Team

On Sunday, heavy rain soon after the tea interval, ruined a potentially good game at Toft, where Marple/Compstall were face with chasing a target of 168 for victory. They had reached 15 for none after four overs when the heavens opened.

Earlier, Toft had made 167 for 8, with James Bibby hitting 50. Charlie Hodgson with 3 for 40 and Ollie Bielecki 2 for 22 were M/C’S most successful bowlers.

Fifth Team

Sunday saw Marple’s young Fifth Team travel to Hazel Grove. Batting first the away side made steady progress with Tom Bradbury (10), Evan Powell (15) giving them a solid start. It was young Ed Frost (20) and the ever reliable Darby (34 no, and in doing so passing 6000 runs for the club) who were the the mainstays of the innings, as Marple finished on a respectable 104 for 7 off their 35 overs.

In reply Liam Tanker & Bradbury bowled well to reduce the home side to 31 for 4 off the first 10 overs, both bowling with swing and pace on a low wicket. Tanker picking up 3 for 25 from a hostile 4 overs, while Bradbury was miserly taking 1 for 6 from his 5 overs.

The introduction of Sophie Sanders; ably supported by Luke Leighton, Fin Powell (on his senior debut) and Ben Bailey who picked up a wicket a piece, saw Marple turn the screw. It was Sanders (4 for 7) though who stole the show, with a fantastic 5 over spell which culminated in a fantastic hatrick as she clean bowled 3 successive batsmen, and a well deserved reward for the Marple teenager. Hazel Grove finished on 63 giving Marple a 41 run victory.

Coaching Success

Marple are delighted to welcome 9 newly qualified coaches to their team following a 4-week course with the Cheshire Cricket Board. Junior cricket is thriving at the club and the new coaches will further enhance what the club can offer Marple’s youngsters. The club are very grateful to these coaches (and the existing ones) as the future looks bright for all those involved in the club as this weekend’s result would prove, with cricketers of all ages and genders able to thrive in a great environment to play cricket. 

The new coaches, all volunteers, are Haroon Ahmed, George Bailey, Simon Blair, Evan Powell, Dan Hopwood, Neil Hurren. Greg Marsland, Mark Maykin and Sophie Sanders.

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